It is those individuals who believe themselves to be leaders but are too lazy to acquire the knowledge required to effectively lead. Who remain in the background in times of adversity and struggle, shielding themselves at the expense of those around them instead pointing fingers at others. Those who look to take all the credit for success but deflect responsibility for failure are not leaders but rather cowards. Their actions inspire nothing more than contempt from those they are tasked with leading and their tenure is ultimately doomed to fail.
Great leaders understand as spider man once said with great power comes great responsibility. They stand by their people. They do not look to point fingers as a way of absolving themselves but understand that as the leader they must be willing to stand up and accept the criticism for each failure. They immerse themselves in the job understanding in all things knowledge is essential because without it their leadership is simply an illusion based on nothing more than bravado and arrogance.
The time for these individuals is usually short and once their time has passed and their chance to stand up and be a leader is forever lost history will record that their tenure to be nothing but a delusion of grandeur extinguished by a power far greater than they had hoped to ascend to, the power of the masses. Leaving them with nothing but time to wonder how they could have been a leader rather than coward.
You say it is disrespectful to our servicemen and women but you wouldn’t give up one football Sunday to volunteer at the VA hospital.
You say it is disrespectful to the flag but you turn a blind eye to the basic tenants the flag represents. Such as All men are created equal and individual Liberty: The principle that each person is born with freedom from arbitrary or unjustified restraint.
America is a complicated country founded on the principle that all men are created equal while at the same time it was openly embracing slavery and allowing legalized discrimination until as recently as the 1960s. Full of so called patriots who embrace our military but at the same time are willing to turn a blind eye toward the problems many soldiers encounter after they return home. A country whose richness was built upon the various contributions of immigrants whose diversity is one of its strongest qualities yet still has a large group of people who reject immigration and segregate themselves in their own communities afraid of the unknown from a different race or culture.
Despite all its flaws America remains the greatest country in the world but it can be better. We as a people are tasked with ensuring that it reaches its unlimited potential. To achieve that promise it is sometimes necessary for the people to engage in Nonviolent resistance to facilitate social change through symbolic protests and civil disobedience. Every time this is done there will be those who disapprove those who wish to keep the status quo but as Richard Dawkins said
“when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.
We should never be afraid to raise our voice against injustice it is our moral responsibility to see that our country live up to principles it was founded on. To do any less would to be complicit in the failure of the promise that is America. As H.L. Mencken so eloquently stated
“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”
So continue to shine a light on social injustice. Continue to demand that America live up to her promise. Reject those who would have you simply accept the status quo. After all dissent is the highest form of patriotism.
Ok NFL players you showed your unity this past weekend with varying displays of so called anthem protest but now is the time to bring the narrative back to its original intent. Yes you should continue to kneel, continue to lock arms or whatever form of protest you feel is appropriate. No you should not allow this President to deter you. But when a microphone is placed in front of you and you are asked about disrespecting the flag and the servicemen and women. Do not allow the narrative to be changed. Tell them emphatically NO I will not play that game. Tell them I kneel to protest social injustice. Tell them I kneel to protest police brutality. Tell them I kneel to bring to light the way people of color are treated in many aspects of society today. Tell them you love America as much as anyone and as such you demand it lives up to its promise. Tell them you respect this country’s servicemen and women and as such I kneel because the 40% of the military made up of ethnic minorities should not have to return to a country where they or their family may be subject to police brutality or discrimination based on the color of their skin. Tell them I kneel not as a sign of disrespect to this country but as a sign of respect for the values that it was founded on, the concept that all men are created equal. Tell them I kneel to force those who would choose to turn a blind eye to these injustices to feel uncomfortable to the point that they will finally open their minds and begin a dialogue on how to truly make this country great. Tell that this is why I kneel.
It is the person who embraces the unknown who learns to reject fear and open their mind to new possibilities. With new possibilities comes the prospect of growth and growth is the essential process of all existence. It is when we cease to grow that we can no longer imagine what we may be able to accomplish. We stand in place and wither away. Neither bold enough to dream of a better future nor seize upon the opportunity to move forward when it presents itself.
The narrative has been lost. It was never about the flag or patriotism it was about social injustice and police brutality. But the fact is that topic makes people uncomfortable and no one likes to be uncomfortable, they rather close their eyes or change the narrative then confront the ugly truth and look for ways to improve it. But since our current President has decided to change the narrative, because social injustice is an issue he appears to be squarely on the wrong side of the debate on, and make this about patriotism I thought I remind him of the words of James Baldwin. If he can somehow grasp the meaning of Baldwin’s words then maybe he will understand what it really means to be a patriot.
Its clear you live in a bubble when you look at an athlete especially one of color kneeling for the national anthem and you see a protest against the flag. Because it’s obvious to anyone who has a sense of history that it’s not a protest against the flag it’s a protest against the way the country the flag represents treats people of color and if you believe that people of color are treated with the same set of rules as white people you simply refuse to acknowledge the reality of this country’s history.
You do not get to invoke the bravery of the service people of this country when you found away to avoid service when you were called to “represent the flag”.
You do not get to invoke respect for our service people when you decide that service people willing to serve this country who are transgender are not worthy of wearing the uniform simply because they are transgender.
You do not get to forget the service people of this country who fought for freedom under this flag in a world war who upon their return home were told to get to the back of the train so white German POW could ride in the front. I’m sure those heroic service people of color still respected the flag they fought for but questioned the motives of the country that flag represented.
You do not get to call out anyone, regardless of their current income, who are willing to stand up against abuse they, people of their family or people of their community have been subject to when you can not truly understand their feelings on the subject because you nor anyone in your family have ever been or never will be subject to the same type of treatment.
You do not get to hide behind your twitter denials, your claims that fake news is looking to destroy you when It has become apparent who you are and who you are speaking to when you speak with such passion about this topic especially when looked at in contrast to your muted tone when talking about white supremacist who marched through Charlottesville chanting racist slogans and carrying tiki torches in an attempt to mimic iconic images of fear from years past. It is clear you are not speaking of just athletes but rather you saying to your base look at these uppity niggers how dare they. You are with me right. Remember when we used to just put them in their place and not have to deal with this? I do and yes like you I long for those days. Days when America was great.
Fortunately you do not get to stain our country forever. You have faked your way to the top. You have awaken the dwindling number of Americans who still think as you do. But you also continue to unite the majority of us who reject the pass sins of this country. You continue to show the world that despite America’s temporary lapse in judgement which gave you your platform you currently have the majority of us reject your beliefs. Your time is short, you are not a king, you are not a dictator, you will soon be a footnote in our history a cautionary tale for our future.
We shall overcome